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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    GM's CAMI Assembly Goes On Strike

      The first strike for Canadian auto workers since 1996

    Last night, workers at General Motors' CAMI Assembly plant in Ingersoll, Ontario went on strike. GM and Unifor Local 88 - the group that represents about 2,750 workers at the plant - were unable to reach a tentative contract before a deadline of 10:59 P.M. last night. This is the first time since 1996 that Canadian autoworkers went on strike against an automaker.

    "While General Motors of Canada and our Unifor partners have made very positive progress on several issues over the past weeks, the Company is disappointed that we were not able to complete a new agreement. We encourage Unifor to resume negotiations and to continue working together to secure a competitive agreement," GM said in a statement on Sunday.

    You might be wondering why a strike is taking place in the first place as GM already worked out a deal with Unifor back in September. That's because Unifor members at CAMI are under a different contract than workers at other plants, meaning they were not involved in the negotiations.

    CAMI is home to the Chevrolet Equinox and used to build the GMC Terrain, before being sent down to Mexico. The loss of the Terrain meant 400 workers were laid off, while another 200 workers took early retirement.

    Unifor Local 88 President Dan Borthwick said the two sides are very much apart on “language issues, economic issues that are still outstanding, and, most importantly, job security.” Borthwick also said GM wouldn't budge on Unifor's demand by making a long-term commit through new products and investments.

    "We put our best foot forward, and we don’t believe the company is serious about our membership’s demands,” he said to Automotive News.

    Stalling production at CAMI raises some headaches. As The Truth About Cars note, various operations such as the engine and transmission plant in St. Catharines, Ontario and numerous suppliers will be hampered by this strike.

    There are concerns if the strike goes long-term. The popularity of the Equinox and Terrain has been booming thanks to the large increase in crossovers. Data from Automotive News shows that Chevrolet dealers in U.S. had about a 53 day supply of Equinoxes at the start of the month, well below the 74-day supply last month. While GM also builds the Equinox in two plants in Mexico, CAMI is where the majority of the models are built. Through August, the San Luis Potosi and Ramos Arizpe plants in Mexico built a combined total of 40,017 units. Meanwhile at CAMI, 132,288 Equinox models rolled off the line. Losing CAMI for a time could mean a tighter supply of Equinox models.

    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), The Truth About Cars

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    23 minutes ago, A Horse With No Name said:

    Let them go on strike, I really don't care if they ever return to work.  I buy vehicles built in Non-UAW plants for a reason.

    Are you suggesting that GM move all Equinox and Terrain production to Mexico and simply shutter this assembly plant?

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    39 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    Move it to Lordstown.  It's already way under capacity, and it is already a Delta 3 plant.   Having both Lordstown and GM CAMI both building Delta vehicles for North America and with Lordstown only having one model,  it was a footprint that never seemed to make much sense.

    Agree, close CAMI and move the jobs to Lordstown. Solution solved.

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    2 hours ago, riviera74 said:

    Are you suggesting that GM move all Equinox and Terrain production to Mexico and simply shutter this assembly plant?

    I really dislike the UAW and would be much more likely to buy it if it was built in Mexico by a factor of about 500, yes.  There is a reason my last two cars were built in Puebla.

    1 hour ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    Move it to Lordstown.  It's already way under capacity, and it is already a Delta 3 plant.   Having both Lordstown and GM CAMI both building Delta vehicles for North America and with Lordstown only having one model,  it was a footprint that never seemed to make much sense.

    This would make an infinite amount of sense for GM.

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    5 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    Move it to Lordstown.  It's already way under capacity, and it is already a Delta 3 plant.   Having both Lordstown and GM CAMI both building Delta vehicles for North America and with Lordstown only having one model,  it was a footprint that never seemed to make much sense.

    This is one of the most sensible things about any topic i have heard in a long long time

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    46 minutes ago, daves87rs said:

    Agree with drew here..either lordstown or d-ham would have been my choice...

    I only picked Lordstown because only the Cruze is there and there is a good half of that plant just sitting dark or as warehouse space.  D-Ham I believe GM has plans for. 

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    On 9/19/2017 at 7:50 AM, Drew Dowdell said:

    I only picked Lordstown because only the Cruze is there and there is a good half of that plant just sitting dark or as warehouse space.  D-Ham I believe GM has plans for. 

     

    Still sounds like they are not sure yet....they seem to be still throwing things around. Though it's funny (but true) about Lordstown, can also be said about D-Ham.....

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    Not knowing the details of the negotiations, I will abstain from speaking in favor for or against either side.

    However, even though I know it is normal 'union speak' to use phrases like, "We put our best foot forward, and we don’t believe the company is serious about our membership’s demands", still irks me.  Why it irks me is that I don't believe, in full, either side of that statement.  I don't believe the union put their 'best foot forward' and I don't think GM didn't take them seriously.

    I just think both sides need to stop talking to the press and get back to negotiations.  Or, moving production, whether it be the 'right' thing to do (from the worker's at CAMI's perspective) may just be what happens.... especially if GM has other facilities that can make up the slack as suggested.

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    On 9/23/2017 at 9:20 AM, lengnert said:

    Not knowing the details of the negotiations, I will abstain from speaking in favor for or against either side.

    However, even though I know it is normal 'union speak' to use phrases like, "We put our best foot forward, and we don’t believe the company is serious about our membership’s demands", still irks me.  Why it irks me is that I don't believe, in full, either side of that statement.  I don't believe the union put their 'best foot forward' and I don't think GM didn't take them seriously.

    I just think both sides need to stop talking to the press and get back to negotiations.  Or, moving production, whether it be the 'right' thing to do (from the worker's at CAMI's perspective) may just be what happens.... especially if GM has other facilities that can make up the slack as suggested.

    Moving production is what needs to happen, busting the damned union would be infinitely better.

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    12 minutes ago, A Horse With No Name said:

    Moving production is what needs to happen, busting the damned union would be infinitely better.

    I have moderated my fairly vindictive stance on unions and the UAW in particular over the years.  I have worked with union leaders that I felt confident were working as well as they could with the company and for their workers, and some that have not.

    It's a tough call.....

    Let's hope the result works well for the most involved and not just the powers that be on either side.

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    2 hours ago, lengnert said:

    I have moderated my fairly vindictive stance on unions and the UAW in particular over the years.  I have worked with union leaders that I felt confident were working as well as they could with the company and for their workers, and some that have not.

    It's a tough call.....

    Let's hope the result works well for the most involved and not just the powers that be on either side.

    I really have not....

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    i'm kind of neutral on unions in general, as in the software business they generally aren't present and I'm used to a 'lone wolf' contractor mindset about work....staying at one employer for life is just not something in my world.   But I do understand the important things unions have done for workers in general in the past... and don't unionized auto workers in the auto industry make more per hour than non-unionized, generally? 

    Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
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